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Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (commonly abbreviated MG2) is a stealth action game that was written and directed by Hideo Kojima and developed by Konami. It is the fifth game chronologically in the Metal Gear series and the second one released. It was initially released only in Japan for the MSX2 computer on July 20, 1990. The game was re-released 14 years later, as a downloadable game for mobile phones in Japan in 2004. A North American and European release of Metal Gear 2 was released in 2006 as part of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence along with the original Metal Gear.
In the game, Solid Snake must infiltrate Zanzibar Land, a heavily defended territory located in Central Asia to rescue a kidnapped scientist and destroy the revised Metal Gear D. The game significantly evolved the stealth-based gameplay of its predecessor "in almost every way," introduced a complex storyline dealing with themes such as the nature of warfare and nuclear proliferation, and is considered "one of the best 8 bit games ever made." However, the game was not released in the United States, due to the conflicting release of Snake's Revenge, until 16 years later.
Metal Gear 2 builds upon and further evolves the stealth-based gameplay of its predecessor. As in the original Metal Gear, the player's objective is to infiltrate the enemy's stronghold, while avoiding detection from soldiers, cameras, infra-red sensors, and other surveillance devices. The biggest change in the game was done to the enemy's behaviour. Whereas the guards in the first game could see in straight lines, the guards in Metal Gear 2 can all see in a field of vision of 45 degrees. The guards can also turn their head left or right to see diagonally and move from one screen to another (instead of being stationed in one area). The enemy can also hear any noise made by the player which usually occurs when the player fires a non-silenced firearm, uses an explosive, hits on a wall or walks on certain types of terrain. If the player is discovered by the enemy, the game will be in Alert Mode and the number of life points they currently have will be displayed on the upper right side of the screen. When the enemy loses track of the player, the game enters Evasion Mode and a counter will go down. When the counter reaches zero, the game returns to normal.
The player has been given new manoeuvres and tools to help them remain undetected and complete the game. For example, the player can now kneel and crawl in addition to walking, allowing to player to avoid making noise, pick up land mines, and hide in tight spaces such as under desks or inside air ducts. A radar with a 3x3 grid on the upper right hand screen shows Snake's current position in the centre screen (as a red dot), with enemy soldiers as white dots, allowing the player to determine what's ahead. However, the radar is disabled when the game enters Alert Mode. The radar can also be used with the mine detector equipped to determine the locations of any placed mines or fire stinger missiles on an airborne target. Many weapons and equipment from the first game are brought over as well as new items such as robotic mice used to distract enemies, a camouflaged mat and three different types of rations with their own attributes. The player no longer needs to rescue hostages to increase their rank; instead their life energy and carrying capacity is increased each time they defeat the game's bosses.
Major spoilers may follow!
By 1999, the Cold War had thawed, and it seemed nuclear proliferation would soon be a thing of the past. Despite this, all was not well in the world. A military junta came to power in Zanzibar Land, a small nation bordering Russia, China, and Central Asia. After gaining its independence from Russia in the Mercenary War, Zanzibar Land began attacking nuclear weapons disposal sites around the world, seizing those weapons that were still intact, and becoming one of the world's few nuclear powers. It then began to invade its neighbours at will.
Meanwhile, a series of shocks to the oil market spurred the development of new high-tech energy sources, including fusion power. However, most vehicles still relied on oil for power. Oil reserves were at a critical low, and the world community was prepared to take drastic measures, either by drilling into sand and shale for more oil, despite the difficulty -- or moving on to renewable fuels. Such steps proved unnecessary when Czech scientist, Dr. Kio Marv, successfully bio-engineered a new species of algae, OILIX, that could produce petroleum-grade hydrocarbons with little expense and effort. Marv presented the algae to the World Energy Conference in Prague, and was on his way to a demonstration in the United States when he was kidnapped by agents of Zanzibar Land.
NATO discovered that Zanzibar Land's leaders planned to hold the world hostage by controlling the supply of oil, along with the threat of nuclear war, in an era known as the Zanzibar Land Disturbance. Solid Snake was brought out of retirement by FOXHOUND's new commander, Roy Campbell, and sent into Zanzibar Land to rescue Dr. Marv.
Snake was able to penetrate the heavily fortified borders of Zanzibar Land via a nighttime HAHO (High Altitude-High Opening) jump, using a radar-stealth parachute. This was carried out at an altitude of 35,000 feet, on the Afghan border, from a C-130 Hercules aircraft. During the time of the HAHO jump, it also had a full moon during that time, ensuring achievement of CAVO (Cloud-Bottom Altitude, Visibility over) and the high altitude environment of the jump also allowed for perfect visibility and also allowed for eyevision use, with calm winds as well as having a stable Minovsky density to allow radar use. In order to aid Snake’s insertion, a simultaneous diversion operation was conducted along the Chinese border.
Making a successful jump, and avoiding frostbite on the way down, Snake then advanced on foot from the drop point to the base of the south-facing cliff wall. Free-climbing his way to the top, being careful to evade enemy sensors, he eventually reached the infiltration point at the front of the enemy fortress. Throughout the mission, Snake also transmitted messages to FOXHOUND via microwave satellites used by both Eastern and Western forces, of which command would be available around 24 hours real time, and would communicate via special frequencies. If Snake was captured during the mission, however, he woudn't receive any assistance negotiations nor any rescue activity as the mission was never covered under the conditions of the Warsaw Treaty. Infiltrating the first of Zanzibar Land's large building complexes, Snake was contacted by Holly White, a CIA operative posing as a journalist, who promised to help in any way she could. Making his way up to the third floor of the main building, thinking Dr. Kio Marv was held there due to his transmitter. However, he was instead confronted by Black Ninja, who had disguised himself as Dr. Marv, explaining that Zanzibar Land had already deduced a while ago that FOXHOUND was using the transmitter, declaring it to be inferior. Snake easily defeated Black Ninja in battle. Black Ninja revealed to Snake that he was Kyle Schneider, the leader of the resistance at Outer Heaven who helped Snake during his mission there four years earlier. He told Snake what happened after they had lost contact. Schneider told Snake that unbeknownst to him, NATO commenced a bombing raid on what was Outer Heaven after the success of Operation Intrude N313. This led to the deaths of many war orphans and refugees, along with many resistance members and Outer Heaven personnel alike. He also told Snake that he survived but was captured by a clean up crew of NATO and used as a guinea pig for NASA's Black Ninja project. He also hinted that Big Boss not only survived, but was also the leader of Zanzibar Land and saved the surviving members of the resistance. After the Black Ninja unit disbanded, he and many members fled to Zanzibar Land to assist in the Mercenary War. Schneider's last words to Snake was a clue on how to find Marv's whereabouts: "Follow the Green Beret."
Finding the man in the Green Beret, Snake patiently followed him into the jungle behind the main building before coming into a clearing, with a small building sitting in the middle. Sneaking past the Green Beret, Snake entered the building to find a large cell, completely empty. Snake could hear a strange knocking, and was contacted by Campbell who told Snake that the knocking was tap code. After figuring out a radio frequency from the knocks, Snake called the person on his radio. Snake discovered that the person who was knocking was not Dr. Marv, but Dr. Drago Pettrovich Madnar, the Metal Gear developer from Outer Heaven. Madnar claimed he had been captured once again in order to build another Metal Gear tank: Metal Gear D. Snake, shocked by this latest development, was also told that the leader of Zanzibar Land was none other than Big Boss, the former leader of Outer Heaven, himself.
After defeating Running Man, another of Zanzibar Land's mercenaries, and destroying a Hind D chopper, Snake proceeded to the second building of the fortress. As soon as he stepped inside, he was called by Holly who had been captured by the enemy. She asked Snake for help, but he didn't know her exact location. Working from her clues, Snake eventually found and rescued her. She told Snake that she had a clue to Marv's whereabouts: a carrier pigeon on the roof. Snake immediately headed to the roof, defeating Red Blaster on the way. Using his rations, Snake coerced the pigeon towards him. Finding a piece of paper attached to the pigeon's leg, it had the message "HELP! WIS. OhIO" printed on it. Looking at it, Snake, with some help from Roy Campbell as well as his FOXHOUND drill sergeant, Master Miller, realized it was Marv's radio frequency upside down. Calling Marv on 140.51, Snake successfully managed to make contact with Marv. Unfortunately for Snake, Marv didn't speak English. Contacting Madnar, he was told that there should be an StB agent named Gustava Heffner who was acting as their bodyguard. Gustava had managed to steal an enemy uniform and should be somewhere in the main Zanzibar Land building. Heading over there, and proceeding to the top floor, Snake waited for Gustava to enter the woman's bathroom, and snuck in, making contact with her. Snake immediately recognized her, realizing she was an ex-Olympic figure skater who won the gold at the Calgary Olympics. After making sure Marv was safe, and discovering that the prison was north of the tower building, they descended into the sewers. They eventually found an elevator which led them to Madnar's cell, and the three continued on to the bridge leading to the prison building. Along the way, Madnar asked for a quick bathroom break. Accepting his request, Snake and Gustava sat and awaited his return. As they waited, Gustava told Snake about her past, how she used to be engaged to a man named Frank Hunter, but when she attempted to defect to America she was refused asylum and sent away. Since then, she joined the StB and had even murdered a man. Snake attempted to comfort her, before Madnar returned. The trio carried on, eventually making their way out of the sewers.
Upon reaching the suspension bridge leading to the detention camp, Madnar easily made his way across. As Gustava started to cross, a missile blew up the suspension bridge, launching Gustava back onto Snake's side of the crevice. As armed guards took Madnar away, Metal Gear D appeared piloted by none other than Gray Fox. He demanded that Snake leave Zanzibar Land, or he would kill him. Tending to Gustava (who was far beyond saving), she thanked Snake for all his help, and gave him her brooch, which could change into a key at different temperatures. Snake was now more determined than ever to defeat both Gray Fox and Big Boss.
After fighting his way through the Four Horsemen, Jungle Evil and Night Fright, Snake eventually made it into Marv's cell. Unfortunately, Snake arrived too late, as he found Dr. Marv's corpse. Marv was unable to survive the repeated torture sessions, and Madnar, also within the cell, was unable to save him. Just before Snake could retrieve the OILIX formula left by Dr. Marv, Holly revealed via a radio message that Dr. Madnar was not captured by Zanzibar Land's forces, but was in Zanzibar Land voluntarily overseeing the development of the new Metal Gear. After the truth came out, Madnar admitted that he accidentally killed Marv and caused Gustava's death, then proceeded to attack Snake. However, he was not successful in killing him, and was easily defeated. However, he still needed to access the locker, so Snake had to traverse back to the Zanzibar Building by stowing away on one of the Zanzibar Land transport trucks. He eventually went over to the sauna and used the key to open up the locker. However, one more obstacle remained within the locker: a nest of venomous Zanzibar Hamsters. Snake, under the advice of Johan Jacobsen, used one of his B3 ration units as bait for the hamster nest to come out before disposing of them, leaving him clear to enter their nesting hole and retrieve the OILIX formula. With the OILIX formula now safely in Snake's hands, Snake made his way out of the cell, However, Dr. Madnar stopped him, and managed to tell him how to defeat Metal Gear D: the legs had weaker armor compared to the rest of the body, and were especially weak to grenades. Just then a trap door was activated with Snake landing in Zanzibar Land's lower basement area, where he was confronted by Gray Fox piloting Metal Gear D once again. After a fierce battle, Snake was successful in destroying Metal Gear. Unfortunately, the resulting explosion causes Snake's equipment to catch fire, and Gray Fox used the opportunity to recover the OILIX formula cartridge, telling Snake to "Burn in Hell!" Forced to remove all of his gear, he then went after Fox. Entering a door to his right, he then found himself in a minefield with Fox. Snake was contacted by military expert George Kasler who told Snake about Fox's real name, Frank Jaeger. Snake suddenly realized that the Frank Hunter whom Gustava had been engaged to was Gray Fox. The two suddenly engaged in hand-to-hand combat against each other, with Snake eventually emerging victorious. Fox told Snake about his past, about how Big Boss saved him several times, and how he needed war, and couldn't live without it. Fox "died", with Snake reassuring him that Gustava was waiting for him on the other side. With the OILIX formula now safely in Snake's hands, Snake made his way out of the cell, However, Dr. Madnar stopped him, and managed to tell him how to defeat Metal Gear D: the legs had weaker armor compared to the rest of the body, and were especially weak to grenades. Just then a trap door was activated with Snake landing in Zanzibar Land's lower basement area, where he was confronted by Gray Fox piloting Metal Gear D once again. After a fierce battle, Snake was successful in destroying Metal Gear. Unfortunately, the resulting explosion causes Snake's equipment to catch fire, and Gray Fox used the opportunity to recover the OILIX formula cartridge, telling Snake to "Burn in Hell!" Forced to remove all of his gear, he then went after Fox. Entering a door to his right, he then found himself in a minefield with Fox. Snake was contacted by military expert George Kasler who told Snake about Fox's real name, Frank Jaeger. Snake suddenly realized that the Frank Hunter whom Gustava had been engaged to was Gray Fox. The two suddenly engaged in hand-to-hand combat against each other, with Snake eventually emerging victorious. Fox told Snake about his past, about how Big Boss saved him several times, and how he needed war, and couldn't live without it. Fox "died", with Snake reassuring him that Gustava was waiting for him on the other side.
After defeating Fox, Snake retrieved Marv's cartridge, where he was then taunted by a familiar voice. Snake followed the voice to its source and was confronted by the renowned mercenary leader himself, Big Boss. Snake declared that he had come to Zanzibar Land to get rid of the nightmares that he had endured since Outer Heaven, with Big Boss replying that they would never go away. Big Boss explained that once someone has experienced the taste of battle, they could never leave it, and that everything he had had done was to give Snake a place for it. He then told Snake about his viewpoint on a logical system: "Start a war, fan its flames, and create victims... then save them, train them... and feed them back onto the battlefield." Big Boss continued on, stating that soldiers like them could never lead normal lives, that it was impossible. They only felt truly alive during battle and nothing else would ever satisfy their cravings. Solid Snake then decided to kill Big Boss to free himself from his grip as well as to put aside his nightmares. Big Boss had one final speech to give before their battle. Having lost all of his equipment and with no weapons at his disposal, Snake was forced to improvise and made a makeshift flamethrower consisting of a cigarette lighter and aerosol can. Taking Big Boss by surprise, Snake was able to defeat him, for the second and last time. Snake and Holly then proceeded to leave, but they first had to fight their way out to the extraction point. However, their getaway pilot Charlie, was running late, so they were forced to hold off an entire platoon of guards until they eventually ran out of ammo. They were cornered by several guards and it appeared that Snake and Holly were done for. However, at the last second, Charlie, piloting a Sikorsky HH-64 Dragoon, eliminated all the guards using the gunship's 7.62 mm machineguns. Snake and Holly then escaped together with Charlie, and delivered the OILIX formula to Campbell.
After the situation had been defused, Snake disappeared into the Alaskan wilderness, not to be heard from again for several years...